Grannie Green Revivial

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Chp 135, Bonsai Garden at Stanley – Forty years champion for the environment

Bonsai Garden at Stanley

The Conservancy Association received a complaint in April 2004 from the Kwan Yin Temple in Stanley about a Housing Department project to construct a “Bonsai Arboretum”, a kind of centre for horticultural art, in the Ma Hang Headland. The project would include a large car park right in front of the temple’s entrance and the construction of the Arboretum would necessitate large scale tree felling – 542 out of 1,047 trees as CA later found out.

CA spent a few months trying to negotiate with Housing Department and the developer, but to no avail. The project had the support of the District Council and the developer was reportedly a Chinese family keen on the Bonsai art and contributing to the development as a social contribution rather than a for-profit operation. CA was willing to facilitate a acceptable solution but did not find much help from the government project proponent, the Housing Department. A local newspaper broke the story on 4 October.

Representatives of CA and Director of Housing Leung Chin-man met on 6 October at which Mr Leung promised that he would adopt an “open attitude” towards the project and wanted a tripartite working group comprising the Housing Authority, CA and the developer to be formed. Accordingly, a tripartite meeting was held on 19 October, at which Housing Department explained that all clearance had been obtained for tree felling. However, Hung Wing Tat of CA put forward a few principles in the design of the Arboretum, namely, that its prime objective should be to preserve the natural habitat, including the woods; the arboretum should be designed to fit in with the current landscape and vegetation of the area rather than to remove everything on site; the new structures should be well justified; and mature trees should not be damaged. CA also suggested full public engagement in developing the park.

The project proponent later withdrew from the plan, and Housing Authority decided to transform the headland into a community park with nature conservation as its main theme. With the participation of CA, two community workshops were organised in late 2006 and early 2007. The park would be developed with a greater emphasis on retaining the natural landscape. It is expected to be completed in 2010.


August 25, 2015 - Posted by | Dr WK Chan book

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